Find Your Element
We live in a world of lists and labels. Every day we rank concepts like success, wealth, talent and intelligence. But if we want to value what really matters, we should think about where we are and where we want to be.
In his book, English writer Ken Robinson – see my last entry, proposes the concept of “The Element.” This is a place or moment where things that you love converge with your natural talent and spontaneity.
When you are situated in your element, you're never bored or even working: you're enjoying yourself, because that's what you like doing the most and you do it well.
One of the most important things in life is discovering what our personal element is.
Inspired by these ideas, I suggest during the July 1 graduation ceremony at Plantel Azteca that students look beyond grades.
Don’t get me wrong. Of course it is important to apply ourselves in school. However, grades do not reflect everything we should develop as human beings.
Unfortunately, in a vain search for success, we treat the arts, music, dance, painting, and sculpture like third-class subjects, beneath the important things like science, technology, writing, and mathematics.
Often we decide on a career focused on these “important” things because we think they'll take us down the least risky and most economically prosperous road. But, if you're out of your element, sooner or later, you'll fail, or in the best of cases, you'll perform on a mediocre level.
There's no better recipe for success –no matter what the field-- than doing what you like to do. In fact, I would define success to a large extent as doing what you like to do.
If you think about it, experiment, and find what makes you happy --your Element-- you'll be doing a favor for yourself, your family, and even your country.
Video of the Commencement Ceremony at Plantel Azteca